(450a) Supported Transition Metal Carbides As Catalysts for CO2 Conversion to Syngas Via Reverse Water Gas Shift Reaction | AIChE

(450a) Supported Transition Metal Carbides As Catalysts for CO2 Conversion to Syngas Via Reverse Water Gas Shift Reaction


Simakov, D. - Presenter, University of Waterloo
Zhuang, Y., University of Waterloo

transition metal carbides as catalysts for CO2 conversion to syngas via
Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction

Yichen Zhuang, Faisal Mohamed Khan and
David Simakov

Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada

Converting CO2 into
synthetic platform chemicals is an attractive approach to decrease CO2
emissions and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Thermocatalytic
hydrogenation provides advantages of fast reaction rates and high conversion
efficiencies (as compared to electro-catalytic and photo-catalytic routes),
thus allowing for compact, high-throughput operation. Among possible reaction
pathways is the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction (CO2 + H2
= CO + H2O) that has the advantage of low H2 consumption.
The generated CO can be mixed with H2 to produce syngas, which is a
valuable feedstock for chemical industry, i.e., methanol synthesis. Challenges include
insufficient activity, incomplete selectivity to CO production, and low
stability against coking and sintering. 

Copper-based catalysts are highly
selective, but their activity is relatively low. Addition of small amounts of
noble metals (e.g., Ru) with proper nanostructuring can improve the catalytic
activity by as high as 250% (right panel in the figure below). However, it is
highly desirable to avoid the use of platinum group metals. Among emerging
low-cost catalytic materials, transition metal carbides were recently
identified as promising candidates for a number of heterogeneous reactions. In
this study, a series of supported transition metal carbides are investigated
for their catalytic performance in the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction. Some
catalytic formulations, such as Mo2C/Al2O3,
show reasonably high conversions with complete selectivity to CO formation. Molybdenum
oxide initially shows similar conversion (left plot in the figure below), but
deactivates rapidly by coking. On the contrary, the Mo2C/Al2O3
catalyst exhibits excellent stability maintaining high CO2
conversions over 100 h of operation at elevated space velocity (GHSV = 15,000
1/h). Results presented include catalytic performance evaluation for several
formulations of transition metal carbides, including mixed carbides, as well as
characterization of fresh and spent catalytic materials by means of electron
microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis, physical
adsorption, and chemisorption.